Witches have a new No.1 ahead of final Foxhall date tonight
- Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com
Ipswich Witches bring their home season to a close tonight with play-off semi-finalists Peterborough Panthers heading to Foxhall. MIKE BACON takes a look.
Danny King rides at No. 1 tonight for the Witches for the first time this season.
In the Foxhall Heath side's last home meeting of the campaign, the new September averages sees King relinquish the top place off Jason Crump, whose average has slipped from a weighty 8.00 at the start of the season to 5.56.
That means Crump will ride at three, while Paul Starke is moved to No.2 in the side, as Anders Rowe drops back down to reserve, where he began the season.
And Craig Cook returns after missing last week having to deal with family issues.
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It's been a frustrating and disappointing 2021 season for Ipswich Witches, their riders, fans and management.
Crump's injury at the end of May, coupled with injuries to Jordan Stewart and Cameron Heeps, all in the same week, scuppered their hopes of a play-off push, despite a good start to the campaign.
A succession of guests for Crump failed to deliver the necessary points he would surely have done as the season began to take a tumble.
So, it's an early end to speedway at Foxhall this year, with just one away meeting, at Peterborough, to come next week.
Ipswich Witches team boss Ritchie Hawkins said this ahead of the meeting tonight.
“It is our last home meeting of the year and we want to finish on a slight high. Peterborough are a very good team and proved what a good team they are at Foxhall last time.
"They beat us convincingly at our place and we are going to need to perform a lot better than we have done in recent weeks to avoid another defeat. We have said it before but hopefully Thursday night is the night we can all perform together and finish the season with a win.
"Everyone has stuck by us this year and we need to give our loyal supporters something to cheer about because they have seen far too many defeats."
Peterborough have been the surprise package for many in 2021 although it is not hard to see why they have performed so well this campaign.
A side packed with experienced riders who have raced at the highest level was labelled ‘Dad’s Army’ at the start of the season by many in the sport and were not tipped for success.
However, the Panthers have adopted their new nickname and shown that age is just a number with a string of impressive results that has seen them confirm their place in the play-offs already
IPSWICH: 1. Danny King 7.46 © 2. Paul Starke 4.85 3. Jason Crump 5.56 4. Jake Allen 4.88 5. Craig Cook 7.23 6. Anders Rowe 4.84 7. Drew Kemp (RS). Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins
PETERBOROUGH: 1. Thomas Jorgensen (g) 7.09 2. Erik Riss (g) 6.41 3. Michael Palm Toft 6.83 4. Scott Nicholls 6.37 © 5. Chris Harris 6.37 6. Leon Flint (g) (RS) 7. Hans Andersen 6.20. Team Manager: Rob Lyon
REFEREE: P. Carrington
Wolves 18 49
Peterborough 14 36
Belle Vue 17 31
Sheffield 14 25
Ipswich 18 18
King's Lynn 15 10